Gracey On: Tall Cheats

By Gracey, Already Pretty Contributor

Let’s be honest; it’s hard to find tall clothes.  And it’s even more difficult to find tall clothes that fit.  Part of the problem is that retailers have a different idea of what constitutes tall.  I’ve seen retailers identify tall as 5’8″ which means that even though it’s “tall” it’s still going to be too short for my six foot self.  Add to that the fact that I prefer to buy my clothes at thrift stores and it’s nearly impossible to find tall clothes!

So, what’s a tall girl to do?  Well, happily, there are ways to cheat a bit so that even if an item isn’t quite long enough for your tall frame, no one’s the wiser.

Boots and skinnies

The combination of boots, either tall or ankle, and skinny pants is a boon to tall girls everywhere.  Can’t find skinnies long enough?  No matter, just buy regular length skinnies and tuck them into some tall boots. No one is the wiser.

Gracey the Giant wears polka dot skinny jeans, riding boots, heart sweater tunic & white button-down

In fact, I actually recommend wearing regular skinnies under boots.  If your skinnies are too long the excess fabric can bunch around the ankle and be uncomfortable.  Regular-length skinnies are often the perfect length for wearing under boots, and you don’t have to pay for shipping from places that only sell tall styles online!

Not a fan of tall boots?  Then might I suggest the current trend of cuffed skinnies and ankle boots? Once again, if you’re cuffing your skinnies above your boots, no one will know if they’re technically “too short” for you.

Petite midi skirts

If you aren’t a jeans-wearer, preferring instead to wear skirts and dresses, why not try petite midi skirts and dresses?  I know it seems counter-intuitive, but a LOT of the skirts and dresses I thrift are midi length petite sizes that are the perfect length on my tall self.

Gracey the Giant wears a petite, thrifted floral dress, thrifted belt and thrifted sandals.

Tights and leggings

If you prefer shorter skirts and dresses, you’ll find that tights and leggings are your best friends.  A skirt that may feel too short on its own will feel infinitely more comfortable layered over either tights or leggings.

Gracey the Giant wears a LOFT striped dress, camel blazer, black tights & ankle boots

While this dress isn’t scandalously short, it’s shorter than I generally wear and the tights helped me to feel comfortable wearing it.

Bracelet length

Bracelet length, and 3/4-length sleeves are fantastic for tall women because they’re not supposed to go all the way down to your wrist. So instead of looking too short, they just look chic.

Gracey the Giant wears an indigo dress, kiss print scarf, black tights & belt & Nine West lace-up booties

And, you can layer the shorter sleeves over long sleeves to add interest to your layered outfits.

Gracey the Giant wears a gray diamond pencil, maroon t-neck, cream sweater, tights & Naya boots


Rolled sleeves

When the trend of rolling or scrunching blazer cuffs came around, I was thrilled.  I could finally buy blazers from the thrift stores and not have to worry about them being long enough in the sleeves.  This trick also works for button-down shirts.

Gracey the Giant wears a silk houndstooth shirt, vintage harlequin sweater vest & black skirt, tights & booties

Yeah, that shirt, while awesome and made of silk, is not remotely long enough for me in the sleeves.

And there you have it, Reader Friends.  Everything I know about how to make your clothes look as though they fit you when they are, in fact, too short.


_ _ _ _ _

Already Pretty contributor Gracey hails from Fashion for Giants. She’s essentially your average blogger, except that she’s taller than average (six foot) and bigger than average (size 14). She also likes to think that she’s more amusing than average, but that could just be vanity. In addition to being tall and plus-sized (and possibly hilarious), she’s also a thrift store shopper, a vintage lover, an Oregonian, and a bike commuter.

Likes: Gracey likes to shop, to blog, and to terrify her co-workers with brightly colored outfits.

Dislikes: Robot uprisings, too-short skirts, and leggings as pants.

Next Post
Previous Post

17 Responses to “Gracey On: Tall Cheats”

  1. Shawna

    Hi Gracey! Great post! These outfits all look fantastic on you. I too am tall though you will laugh at my miserable little 5’9″ height. Still I often find myself in no woman’s land, where regular sizes are stopping at 5’7″ and tall sizes starting at 5’10”. The trend for wearing heels with jeans made it significcantly more likely I could get jeans long enough and in fact I have some which I need to hem. Amazingly new experience for me! However one of my biggest challenges with pants and dresses is that being taller than average means more than just long legs. It means all my proportions are longer than average. Dresses are usually too short in the body for me so I am more likely to wear skirts than dresses. Jeans and pants can have long legs but if the rise wasn’t also made longer they may not work for me. I love 3/4 length sleeves and have always scrunched up my sleeves anyhow so if they aren’t long enough for me that never bothers me. Cropped length pants are currently trendy so as you point out, regular length skinnies would be cropped length for many tall girls. I am not convinced that cropped flatters me, but as you say, when boots are involved they work well.

    As I was reading your post and scrolling down I kept saying to myself, oh this is my favourite outfit on Gracey. Then it was, oh no this one is my favourite, Oh no, it’s THIS one. LOL

    PS I do follow your blog, I just can’t leave comments there, so I’m a lurker.
    Have a great week!

  2. Laurel H

    Great tips, Gracey! I’m 5’8″ so obviously not as tall as you, but I have similar problems finding clothes that fit (only on a smaller scale). I have an additional tip. Until recently, when I was thrifting, I would automatically bypass pants that were labelled petite. Then I spotted a fabulous pair of grey ponte trousers in petite. I tried them on, and they fit perfectly everywhere but the length. I decided then and there that they would be cropped trousers! Nobody would know they were supposed to go to the ground. So, I encourage taller gals to check out petite pants to see if they still work as cropped pants.

  3. Cas

    Tall girls unite! Thanks for the tips. I take full advantage of the ankle look/partially rolled up pants thing going on right now.

  4. Jen

    I’m 5′ 4”, so nowhere near tall, but this is useful as I have to navigate between petite sizes (often too small/short) and regular (often too long, especially pants). I’m going to try the rolling sleeves trick. I already love 3/4 sleeves because it seems like I’m always pushing up sleeves that are full length.

    • JB

      This! I’m 5’5″ and can totally relate. Let’s hear it for “tall” petites! Also, Gracie, I love the last outfit in this post. You clearly have an advanced degree in pattern mixing!

  5. Ryan

    Hey Gracie- loved this post! Could you give us taller girls a hand up with listing some of the fab pieces you are highlighting here and where to get them? I have been on an epic journey of finding tall-enough tall boots and yours look beautiful.

  6. Angela Moore

    LOVE this post & all of the looks and tips. Although I’m a short tall girl at 5’8″ haha…I do have long limbs and have used all of these tricks. Great ideas. I’ve found a plethora of cute cheap petite & short sized pants and jeans in thrift stores…it is like a slap in my secondhand shoppin’ face 😉

  7. Sue Walker

    Hi Gracey, your post made me smile as I have the opposite problem being 5′ and a bit! I buy 3/4 length sleeves as they are bracelet length on me. Rolling up sleeves is good for me though I have more to roll up than most people. I look for mini-length skirts and dresses as they are on or just above my knees. I’m luckier than you when it comes to trouser length as, depending on the style, at least I can shorten them!

  8. e

    Thanks, I love these! I’m only 5’6″ but with wide shoulders (which makes sleeves come short) and somehow gangly arms and legs (compared to the torso size) I always seem to face these issues with clothes.

  9. Linda

    I sympathize. Equally awful to find short clothes. I am 5’1″ and almost nothing in the vast and inviting department stores fits (except for that pitiful distant corner called Petites, in which nearly none of the lovely brands and styles available to normal sized women are available). Can’t tell you how many times people suggest, “Well, can’t you just get things shortened?” not realizing it’s about more than hem length. Most times, a garment would need to be almost completely remade to accommodate all the proportions that are off. So, “what’s a [short] girl to do,” too? It is very easy to end up looking like either a little girl or a little granny (on second thought, even grannies don’t look like that anymore!)… Sorry about the mini-rant; I really only wanted to say I relate to your frustration. It’s a problem for those of us on either end of the height spectrum. Great blog. Enjoyed your post, Gracie.

  10. TexasAggieMom

    Thanks so much for this post! I just got Sally’s book last week and had already made a mental note to check out your blog based on those photos, but this seals the deal for me – you officially have a new regular reader! At 5’9″ I fall into that nebulous zone of “taller than short but shorter than tall clothing.” These tips will serve me well, especially those for thrifted items!

  11. Sellany

    I do all these things, at 5’10.5″. In fact, Petite dresses often work better on me than Tall ones because I am short-waisted and long in the rise.

    The other thing I do about too-short sleeves is have a small collection of arm-warmers. A couple of pairs are just little wristlets that will bridge the gap between too-short sleeves and gloves in the winter and they save me getting too chilly when it’s not quite warm enough for short sleeves.

  12. f.

    Oh. So that’s where / how you thrift all those perfect knee length dresses and skirts! I have been wondering!

  13. FarmFashionista

    I’m with Shawna in the world of “almost tall” 5’8 1/4″. However, because I am very long waisted with long limbs, I have found that I can buy tall sizes and hem them. And I always see things in the petite section that I love, which I could not wear in a million years! Murphy’s law.